Kiva, Oprah, Risk Rating Systems
If you don’t already (and some folks have admitted to me recently that they don’t) Kiva.org is the red-hot web property that links micro entrepreneurs in the developing world with donors who offer contributions that support their enterprises. It’s microfinance brought to a scale where anyone can participate.
Here’s what the site says today:
Due to a recent surge in support ignited by viewers of the Oprah Winfrey Show and readers of President Clinton's newly released book Giving, there is currently a shortage of businesses in need of loans. The Kiva.org staff and our Field Partners are working overtime to get more businesses on the website. In the meantime, thank you for your patience!
That’s right, Kiva is sold out! A few additional points of interest about the effort:
- Kiva has recently added a new risk rating system that provides some guidance for donors. It is a very strategic move that indicates Kiva is not only getting the play; it is deserving it.
- If you want an insider's perspective on how a gig on Oprah can transform your efforts, all the way down to the number of hits generated, check out a blog by Kiva’s founders (pictured right), which is featured on the Skoll Foundations’ Social Edge.
- Questions are starting to surface about the efficacy of microfinance as a tool for lifting folks out of poverty. For a summary of some of the questions, check my previous post summarizing Aneel Kamani's critique.